Marine Technology

Marine businesses in the south west generate a turnover of £1.3 billion per year.

The geographical location of the south west, with its extensive coastal waters makes it an ideal base for marine businesses to locate. Consequently, there is a strong tradition of maritime activity in the region across a diverse range of companies from commercial to leisure and defence and marine science.

As a major centre of UK production, the south west is home to several prestige builders of luxury yachts and high performance crafts, together with world class marinas.

These are supported by commercial operations with specialist shipyard facilities specialising in repairs and refits of small and medium ships as well as supporting our naval force.

Businesses in the south west account for nearly 30% of all UK ship building and ship repair workers.

Skills shortages

The marine technologies sector has identified a number of skills shortages (listed below). These represent opportunities for graduates; it stands to reason that if you develop the skills that are in short supply, you will enhance your employment prospects.

Hard to fill vacancies include:

  • Metal workers
  • Pipe workers
  • Electrical engineers
  • Employees with previous experience 

General skills gaps include:

  • Technical workforce development
  • Leadership and management skills (and in particular, project management)

The Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA) Sector Overview provides a summary of future sector requirements for employees and skills. It highlights that there is a demand for 'work ready' graduates with relevant degrees who 'have what it takes' to move sector companies forwards. They include naval architects and marine electrical engineers capable of using the latest technology and materials in design. There is a particular need for graduates with relevant technical design skills who are able to both use the latest technological developments and provide technical customer support.